Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dexcom eh?

Good news! Dexcom is coming to Canada!!

There have already been sightings and it should apparently be ready for wide release by mid-November.

Pretty exciting stuff considering I have read all about it from my US blogger friends who have been using it for years.


You don't know who Dexcom is?

First of all, it's not a who. It's a what. Second, it's a CGM which stands for a continuous glucose monitor. In a nutshell, it tests your blood sugar every few minutes and you can see what it's doing by looking at the little screen on the receiver.

Some pictures for those of you who prefer the visuals...

The black beauty on the left is the Dexcom receiver (it also comes in blue or pink). The screen shows the results of the five minute blood sugar checks in a lovely graph complete with colours. On the right is the Dexcom transmitter. 

On the left is the sensor that gets inserted into some part of my abdomen - just like my pump infusion set does. On the right is the transmitter you saw above. It attaches to the sensor, reads the results and sends them to the receiver. Cool eh? 

The beauty of a CGM is that, instead of just testing your blood sugar and getting a random number like, say 5.2, you can also see whether you are 5.2 and climbing, 5.2 and dropping or 5.2 and holding steady. It's pretty amazing stuff and (apparently) makes a huge difference in the way people are able to manage their diabetes. It shows trends we would miss by only doing finger pricks - even overnight when we don't tend to check as often and can miss some pretty dramatic ups and downs.

It can also be set to alarm if your blood sugar is too high or too low.

Let's face it. It's not exactly an iPad mini or a new triathlon watch but, for the role it does play, it's a pretty impressive piece of technology.

I called Animas today and asked to be put on the list of people who are interested. I guess that means I'll be notified the minute the Dexcoms are ready. It also means I was sent information about the costs so that I can contact my insurance company to see what, if anything, is covered.


Like everything else in the diabetes world, the costs are rather shocking:

$800 for the receiver
$700 for the transmitter
$340 for a box of four sensors (Each sensor is supposed to last 7 days. Some, of course, will not come anywhere near that. Others, according to my blogger friends, can be stretched out for weeks with enough care and super stick tape.)

So, the starter kit is $1840 (plus taxes I'm assuming) and then, on average, $340 a month for the sensors.

Double gulp.

Looks like I'll be in contact with my insurance company to see what's what. Once I know where they stand, and after I've appealed every decision that even sounds like a no, I can determine if this is even an option.

Having a CGM would make a pretty significant difference in my life. Of that I have no doubt. But having just paid off a huge chunk of debt, I have no interest in accruing any more. And neither the starter kit nor the monthly sensor cost is in this girl's budget.

As always, I will keep you posted.


  1. Here's hoping that your insurance company comes through and you can get these at a reasonable price!

  2. I wish.....

    but not holding my breath.

  3. I would love to have this as well....the cost is quite off putting though. Fingers crossed for you!

  4. I would love one of these! Or the Animas pump that has it integrated. Like you though, I'm wishing they were cheaper. Fingers crossed you can get it!

  5. The Dex would no doubt be lower maintenance than my alert pooch, but would it lick my face when my BG goes low? ;-)

    Bonne chance with the insurance peeps! EVENTUALLY, I think they'll all come around ... like they did for test strips.